Tuesday, October 23, 2018
The Roots Of The Social Justice Demand For Substantive Equality
Yes, I think the sort of positions these "social justice" types arrive at could and should be seen as a form of reductio ad absurdam that in themselves disprove the moral premise or claim or position that lead to them. The question then is, what was that fallacious premise/claim/position? The answer, obviously, is the premise that substantive equality of all is a valid, even compelling, moral goal. That answer in turn may stem, in part at least, from mistaken extrapolation from a couple of moral goals or ideals that are valid. First is the simple and old notion that sharing, helping, etc. is a positive good, though compulsory sharing is not, and may be a definite bad. Second is the more recent notion that institutionalized or systemic inequality, in the common forms of institutionalized class or caste, is bad, and should be abolished in the name of equality of status, or equality before the law, something quite different from institutionalized, legally compelled equality of substance. It still doesn't seem to me quite sufficient that these sorts of valid goals might have lead to the kinds of absurd conclusions we see so often from even prominent social justice figures like Rawls -- they seem to require something, if not more sinister, at least more significant, more commensurate, to explain them, and I'd suggest hubris, but on a large, even cosmic scale: they imagine that they can make nature herself bow to their conception of justice, and set right the universe.